The importance of rest days

//The importance of rest days

The importance of rest days

Sometimes you get to the gym and realize, hey it’s just not my day.

You’re tired, you didn’t sleep very good the night before and you’ve been stressed out with work and the kids lately that you just don’t feel like yourself when you walk through the doors of the gym.

But then, there’s a workout on the board that you love. You arms and lats are sore from the day before, but you want to do this one. It’s usually in your, “wheelhouse.”

You decide to hit the workout as hard as you ever have and dump the gas tank. You might post a personal record on the workout or even post the best time on the whiteboard that day. It seems good at the time but you may have actually done your body more harm than good when walking through the doors of the gym that day.

You may have simply overtrained.

The results of overtraining can be anywhere from minimal sleep disruption the next night to HPA-Axis Dysfunction (Adrenal Fatigue). The reality is that with any type of training, we want to create proper movement first before moving onto speed in the workout. When you go against that foundational principle, there are consequences for your health.

When it comes to training, whether it’s in CrossFit, bodybuilding, cardiovascular endurance, etc., you’re intentionally imposing a stressor on your body in hopes of attaining a positive adaptation. This positive stress is what we typically call eustress.

This is how we get the physical and mental results that we want in the gym and in life. The manifestation of change is actually brought about because of a stress that is created and then adaptation occurs. Within the gym setting, we are intentionally creating small muscle breaks or tears so that we can build that muscle back up with nutrition and rest to be stronger than it was before. Our body adapts because it thinks we need to be stronger in order to handle that stress more effectively the next time it comes around.

Today, that stress is something we choose in the gym. In centuries before, we grew faster from running away from animal predators or simply died. But those stressors, weren’t continual like they are today. We had time off to make the adaptations necessary to improve our lives. Today however, we have an unending opportunity to continue to hit the gas pedal every single day even when there’s no gas left in the tank.

“CrossFit is addicting.We love seeing people become immersed in the culture and commit to making themselves healthier,” Cody Luu, coach at CrossFit Moirai said. “Part of health is how we recover. We’re not against people coming to the gym and getting their fitness on 5 days a week, but if the time spent between those workouts isn’t properly used to recover, your body will show signs of wear and tear.”

“It’s fun coming to the gym, hanging out with your friends and hitting workouts hard,” Luu says, “But REST DAYS ARE IMPORTANT. Your body is an intuitive machine. It will tell you when it’s feeling weak. If your shoulders are barking at you and the next day is a ton of overhead work, maybe skip that day. Get treated.
Here are some things you should do to ensure you are making the most of your time outside of the gym so when you come in you can crush the workout:
  • Sleep–getting 6-8 hours of sleep, preferably 7-9 is imperative towards ensuring your hormones are optimized and ready to go.
  • Nutrition–a balanced amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat so that your body has the proper amount of fuel to get into a workout and create adaptation.
  • Mobility–stretching and becoming strong in certain positions allows your body to be able to function properly and get to a proper place where we are able to push in a workout.
  • Hydration–Drinking enough water allows your body to handle the workload of your day and give your muscles the nutrients that you are taking in each day.
  • De-stressing–whether it’s meditation, yoga, box-breathing, whatever, your body needs a chance to regroup from modern day life and balance your hormones.
“We won’t be mad if you miss a class or two. Part of our mission to make you HEALTHIER, not just STONGER or FASTER. And it’s hard to do any one of those if you wreck your body to the point where simple everyday movements are difficult, affected your quality of life inside and outside of the gym.”
We want you to come to the gym with a smile on your face and smash the workout while feeling good after. More importantly, we want you to be able to return the next day or later in the week and do it again.
“We’re all for working out 4,5,6 days a week if it’s done right. In those cases, mobility exercises become even more important to ensure recovery and quality of movement,” Luu finished.
Be safe. And listen to your body.